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Chelsea - David Luiz: Do Barcelona need him anyway ?

Chelsea’s Brazilian center half David Luiz has been at the heart of transfer speculation ever since manager Jose Mourinho’s arrival in the summer.

Luiz was strongly linked to Barcelona over the summer, and Bayern Munich were also reported to have an interest.

But the Chelsea boss is looking to his flamboyant defender to ignore the rumours and concentrate on the club's busy Christmas schedule.

Luiz, who has managed to overcome a niggling knee injury, made a solid come back against Crystal Palace on Saturday, and will be looking to keep his place ahead of Chelsea's big clash against Arsenal on the 23rd.

'Everything is clear. He's our player and we are happy he's back in a moment when we need him and John in defence', said Mourinho.

'The market is open in January but I don't think we will be buying or selling. There has been no contact from other clubs or from his people', he continued.

Mourinho's comments will be heard over in Catalunya, and Barcelona may wish to look to one of their own to fill the void left by the aging and injury prone Carles Puyol - Marc Bartra.

The 22 year old La Masia product was recalled to the first team ahead of Villarreal’s trip the Nou Camp in place of Javier Mascherano and put in a solid performance. A key improvement in his game has been his ability to bring the ball out from the back, making surging runs reminiscent of a young Puyol. He notched up an impressive 5 interceptions, an 86% pass success and 2 powerful second half dribbles that saw him power past a static Villarreal midfield resulting in Barca creating clear opportunities.

Having notched up 7 impressive La Liga appearances over the past 2 months, perhaps Marc Bartra is that stylish center back Barcelona originally saw in David Luiz.

image: © Ben Sutherland

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